Friday, October 18, 2013

Cameron, Santorum talk films about faith


Not playing at a theater near you: A love story pairing up conservative Christians and Hollywood.

Evangelicals have long cast the movie industry as a factory of filth. The disdain is mutual: On the big screen, churchgoers are often portrayed as narrow-minded.

Amid that backdrop, some conservatives are releasing Christian films outside the Hollywood system.
Enter actor Kirk Cameron and former U.S. Senator – and GOP presidential candidate – Rick Santorum.

I talked with both this week about their separate but similar quests to spread the Gospel cinematically.

Cameron, 43, came to fame as a teen actor on the ABC sitcom “Growing Pains” (1985-92). Now he appears in Christian dramas and documentaries, most notably “Fireproof,” a 2008 hit movie in which he played a firefighter trying to save his marriage.

As part of a live spinoff of that movie, Cameron will be at Charlotte’s Northside Baptist Church, 333 Jeremiah Blvd., next Saturday (Oct. 26)  at 6 p.m. for “Love Worth Fighting For.”



This evening of advice, music, humor and prayer is geared to husbands and wives who want to spend a few hours “focusing on the most important relationship they have on the planet,” he said by phone. (Order tickets here.)

Santorum, meanwhile, stopped by the Observer to plug his debut film as the new CEO of Dallas-based EchoLight Studios. “The Christmas Candle,” set in Victorian England and based on a novel by evangelical writer Max Lucado, is a handsomely produced film about an Anglican pastor who recovers his lost faith and an angel-touched candle that brings a miracle every Christmas Eve. It’ll hit theaters Nov. 22. (See a trailer here).



Santorum and Cameron said they want to fill a hunger in the heartland for movies that affirm Christian values and beliefs.

“My industry is responsible for so many evils in the world,” Cameron said. “It feels like a privilege to be here (in Hollywood), making movies that are actually producing good.”

He bristled at critics who dismiss “Fireproof” and other Christian movies as earnest but didactic and amateurish: “Who made (them) king of deciding what’s a good movie?”

Santorum sees his new job as a sequel to a 2012 presidential campaign that stressed social issues – and maybe a prequel to 2016.


“It’s consistent with going out there and fighting the fight,” he said. “Having an impact on the popular culture is, to me, part of the overall effort to bring America back to its senses.”

-- Tim Funk

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

a great big bunch of nonsense.

Anonymous said...

"Fireproof" was a hit movie in 2008? Really? Come on! Really?

Archiguy said...

Actually, you kind of have to admire them for stepping up the challenge of making films that are trying to reinforce conservative values. Especially since modern conservative values, as espoused by the Republican Party at least, are so often hostile to the poor. Especially the working poor who are expected to labor in difficult, often dangerous jobs that usually don't pay a living wage or offer health benefits. And be grateful for the "opportunity".

The Democrats that have tried to bring millions of the working poor into the health care system are routinely vilified as anti-American, secular heathens among Santorum and his conservative colleagues. And the things they say about President Obama can't typically be said aloud in Church, can they?

Jesus, of course, felt a little differently about the poor. He was a liberal Jew who threw the money-changers out of the Temple and said the meek would inherit the earth.

So making films that glorify Him, while spitting on everything he stood for, must be a real challenge. I don't despair that Cameron and Kirk are up to it though. After all, they're "bringing America back to its senses". I guess that's how they viewed the gilded age of robber barons when the rich knew their place, and the poor knew theirs. Doubt Jesus would agree, however.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad those of us who don't want to see the filth and hear the obscene that's so prevalent now in movies have a choice. Why does everyone think that these make a good movie? There are those who don't want to see or hear that kind of stuff!!!

Clay said...

I've always enjoyed a good fantasy movie.

Although this is really disturbing dark fantasy so I'll pass.

Anonymous said...

If these two had their way we would all be mindless clones.
To Anonymous at 9.46 AM .. I don't
want to or see or hear obscene music or movies. However it is not my place to make decisions for others on what they wish to watch.
Which is what these two and others like them would like to do.

God gave us all freewill.

Anonymous said...

Hey Archiguy - News flash... Conservatives do give quite a lot to the poor. However, we don't take the money of other, give it the poor and then pat ourselves on the back for have a bigger heart than those mean conservatives. Jesus didn't advocate giving to the poor via the Jewish or Roman authorities.

Beijing 2010 - Ni hao! said...

Huy Observer, Faith is not news!! Stop forcing your religion down our throats!

Anonymous said...

The reason Hollywood makes the films they do is that those are the films that people are willing to pay money to see.

If people were lining up to buy tickets for movies about Christian values, then Hollywood would be making them.

That is how the Conservative value of Capitalism works.

burningeye said...

Someday, I hope christian filmmakers will just focus on telling great stories that faithfully illuminate the human condition. Art can only take flight on gossamer wings--it just can't support the weight of any heavy-handed ideological agenda, from the right or the left.

Anonymous said...

wow, got a lot ot 'haters' out there, so sad

Anonymous said...

*of- sorry 'bout that